Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday's here

We had another glorious Sunday here in the Ozarks.  More people are in the parks as they've come to Branson for the Gospel Country Picnic out at Silver Dollar City which will end next Sunday.  We had a good group here at Oak Grove and also, over at the KOA park.

Don's text was Luke 15:1-24, landing for the most part on the parable of the prodigal son.  It's always such a powerful message when Don shares his life's story within his sermon and he say's, passionately, that his life story is parallel to the story of the prodigal son.

Carol and George Kline joined us at KOA, as promised, and we were so blessed with her beautiful version of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee."  We are now excited about them doing a concert here at Oak Grove one day this week.100_7775 We would like to ask you to be praying for Carol regarding a health issue.  Surgery may be in her near future, but we are praying for a healing touch from Jehovah Rapha for Carol.  Also, pray for her daughter who will be headed back to Iraq the end of November, leaving her husband, son and autistic daughter.  Carol's daughter asked her mom to tell everyone she met that "they are making a difference in Iraq."  Praise the Lord.  As you know, we get a different story from the media.

Don and I went back to Friendly Baptist Church tonight to worship with them.  The gospel quartet group, Forgiven, from Bartlesville, OK, sang the entire service.  They will be out out Silver Dollar City tomorrow.  They're good!  We were blessed.

8/29/08 Friday & 8/30/08 Saturday

Almost Willie was performing at KOA Friday afternoon. He looked almost like Willie Nelson, he sounded almost like Willie, he played an almost Martin guitar, and he rode in an almost Prevost Motorcoach.  He's not even from Texas as he hails from Kansas City, MO, but he is the #1 Willie Nelson impersonator.  He also does a pretty good Johnny Cash.  100_7762100_7764Almost Willie100_7765 Willie Nelson-7.JPGWillie Nelson for real  Willie Nelson

Saturday morning, we went back over to KOA to hear a mini-concert by a lady we had met at the Almost Willie concert.  We sure enjoyed The Soft Sounds of Carol Kline and spent a little time visiting with her and hubby, Love Bucket George.  She sang a beautiful mix of gospel, patriotic and country songs.  100_7766George sang with Carol in a few songs and was such a great compliment to her.  Before we parted, we prayed together with them and she graciously agreed to come back for church the next morning to sing a special for us.  Carol  & George will be singing at the God and Country Theater next Sunday, Sept. 7th, at 4:00 PM.  This is her first time to sing in Branson.  I have to tell you that from across the room, George looked very much like Dr. David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma.  He also said he'd been accused of looking like Roy Clark.  I can see that, also.100_7769I couldn't help but take this picture of this couple sitting down the way from us.  I love it when retired couples act like they like each other. 100_7770 Well, there was a biker couple that came in for breakfast before the Carol show and I talked to them a little and then followed them outside with my camera.  Audrey had to show me her helmet with the Dora Explorer band-aids on a couple of 'owies'100_7771 Kenny and Audrey Mitt loved to tell about their trips and talk about their bikes. 100_7772 Kenny was quite pleased with the Harley he purchased for Audrey a year ago. 100_7773 Kenny and Audrey were such a nice, friendly couple with sweet spirits.  I told Kenny I really appreciated his 'clean' vocabulary and he grinned and said, "not all bikers are like that."  He readily admitted that God certainly takes care of them.  God's speed to brief acquaintances, Kenny and Audrey.  I hope we meet again.100_7774

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snake bite

Please say a prayer for eight year old Wesley Mauk who was bitten by a Copperhead snake yesterday afternoon while his family was setting up a tent campsite at the KOA here in Branson.  Wesley was rushed to the ER and was admitted for overnight observation.  Don and I went to see him yesterday while he was still in the ER.  Doctors were watching the progress of the venom and had not yet administered anti-venom serum, hoping his body would neutralize the poison.  Wesley was bitten on the outside of his left index finger at the joint closest to his thumb and his hand was very swollen. 

We didn't want to stay very long as they wanted him to stay still and quiet, so we prayed with Wesley and left.  He was very calm and his parents were so sweet and appreciative of our visit and prayer.  With his sweet smile, it wouldn't take Wesley long to crawl into your heart.  His dad told us that Wesley was ready to be baptized when they got back home to Ohio.

Today, when we went back to check on Wesley in his hospital room, his parents had stepped out to walk and feed his eight year old Siberian Husky, Alpine, who was staying in their car in the parking garage, out of the heat, we figured.  Wesley was doing well and said he might be released today from the hospital.  His left arm was swollen almost to his elbow, but we weren't sure if the anti-venom serum had been given to him yet.  There's always the possibility of a reaction to the serum.

Thank you for your prayers for Wesley.

Friday, August 29, 2008


DD Leslie has added more new layouts to her album.  Les n Em me-and-emKman n Emma meeting-camdenEmma you-are-perfect1... And my favorite:Em n Cam the-heart-of-our-homeAren't they just 'delicious?!! 

Should you be interested in digital scrap-booking, Leslie has posted how she got started and the tools she uses.  Pop on over to Pook & Diesel to check it out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome to Baker's Blessings

Tonight, this blog received a hit from  Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan!  That's the city of Rawalpindi, province of Punjab, country of Pakistan.  Sure wish visitors would leave me a comment, but maybe they aren't sure about their English.  I would like to know how they heard of Baker's Blessings.  If you forwarded my email to a friend in Pakistan, that's great!  Shoot me an email and let me know who it is.  They arrived on my blog at the "Patriotism" post which leads me to think they clicked on a link in an email.

8-21 to 8-27 2008 in pictures

100_7702 Barry killed the grass around our house and we were tracking in dead grass like crazy, so Don pickup this piece of outdoor rug at Home Depot.  Much better.


Don decided we needed to get out of the house and go to Table Rock Lake for a while.  It was so nice down by the water... several degrees cooler even though the temperature was in the high 80's. Here Don rinses his feet in the water.

100_7707 They've sure let a lot of water through the dam since we were last here.  Last time we were here, this was all underwater, as you can tell by the picture of Don ... water line is way up in the trees.  Don soaking up some rays.


The next two pictures are for our Louisiana friends.  We sure are missing Jimmy and Lucy.  They'll be back in about 10 days.  Do you see the crawfish?  He sure blends in with the rocks under water.100_7712 100_7713


Click on this artsy picture to enlarge it and get the full effect of the dead tree and the fluffy clouds behind.  That's the Chateau by the Lake in the bottom right part of the pic.100_7720

Many of the trees will be showing signs of drowning such as this one.  The dying red leaves in the sun did make for a pretty picture, though.


Boats traveling across the lake making waves, the sound of which was very relaxing as they hit the rocks along the shoreline.


100_7724We decided to leave the shore and take a walk down the trail through the woods when we saw this beautiful black and blue butterfly.


While walking around the park yesterday, there are still flowers blooming.100_7728100_7729100_7730100_7732100_7734

Finally, the dead tree behind our 'house' is coming down.   



Zane sure made me nervous up in that dead tree with a chain saw. 100_7736 Don and Barry watching Operation Dead Tree Removal.100_7749

They got the worst part down one limb at a time.  That's our 5er behind.100_7753 100_7756Do you think it was dead???  Even though some of the limbs had green leaves, it was only a matter of time before the outer edges of the trunk would rot because of rain and insects.100_7757  Well, it's Thursday night.  (I didn't take any pictures today.)  Don went to the prayer lunch with Dennis today and I did the laundry, wrote recap of our Bible Study last night (read Adonai next post) and listened to Paul Wilbur CD all afternoon.  Love it.  Yesterday, the park was almost empty.  Today there are rigs everywhere.  Sure glad they got that tree down when they did.  And we're happy to see people in the park again.  The Southern Gospel Music Festival started today at Silver Dollar City... that's the reason for increased population here.

Mama Trudy is back home in Norman after spending a couple of weeks in Georgia with my brother, Jon.  She had a good visit and is praying about moving there.  It would be good for her and Jon to spend time together.  They haven't been able to do that since he left home after graduation forty-five years ago. Yikes!  He's been on the mission field abroad and she's lived within an hour of me all those years.  I loved being close to her, but I'm not going to be selfish.  Like Don says, with Mama being in Georgia we're sure God will open a door for us closer to her.  (From our mouth to His ears.)


be_still_va Adonai was the Name of God that we studied last night (Wed. 8/27/08) at our Bible Study.

Recognizing Adonai indicates a persons calling upon and surrendering to the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ.  "I recognize The LORD as my Master, my Owner, my Boss, the One I want to obey."

Scriptures that speak of Adonai (LORD):

Genesis 15:1-2

1 Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”

2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.

[We see here that Abram, even though he's questioning, he still is dedicated to obedience as seen by the use of God's name: "LORD."]

Matthew 7:21

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

[Not only does God state the intent of the heart here, but He indicates the intentions by what they call him: "Lord, Lord."  Not translated as Adonai.  They were not motivated by their desire to be obedient to God.  The same is true for the following verses.]

Luke 6:46-49

46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?
47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it.
48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.
49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

Exodus 4:10

10 But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O LORD, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

11 Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” [Notice:  When Moses realized what God was requiring of him, the name he uses changes from LORD, to Lord... no longer dedicated to obeying.]

14 Then the LORD became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

[We discussed why the LORD became angry with Moses... because Moses did not trust the LORD enough to be completely and totally obedient.  We can't help but wonder what blessings Moses forfeited by not trusting the LORD to speak through him.

We also learned that the name LORD (translated Adonai) is only used by an individual who is intent on obeying God.  Otherwise, if the individual is not dedicated to obeying God, the name Lord is used.  Do you see the difference in the use of capitalization.]

LORD, I am your servant, You are my Master.

"Adonai, we surrender to YOUR Sovereign will."

I'm sure there is are many wonderful sermon series or Bible Studies on just this name of God... Adonai. 

I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.  The first song is entitled "Adonai" and is sung by Paul Wilbur who is tremendously talented Messianic Jewish worship leader.  I have more of his music in my playlist.

a poem by
Gertrude Jefferies 

Almighty God, Creator,
Elhoim is His name.
Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider
He will never change.

El Shaddai, All Sufficient One
El Roi, The God Who Sees
Adonai, My precious Lord
Jehovah-Shalom is My Peace.

Jehovah-Saboth Lord of Hosts
El Elyon, God Most High
He's ruler of the universe,
God of the earth and sky.

The Lord Jehovah, Self Existent One
The Eternal Great I Am
Jehovah Rapha, God Who Heals
my spirit and natural man.

The God who Sanctifies
Jehovah-Raal, My Shepherd God
To green pastures He does guide.

I live beneath the banner
Of great Jehovah- Nissi
And blest Jehovah-Tsidkenu
With Righteousness, He clothes me.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunday's Coming

My sweet husband has encouraged me this morning.  Check out Don's update at Sunday's Coming.

[Thank you, Don.  I love you.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


us-flag-map1By definition, the love of and devotion to one's country.

Literally, that's the subject that was on my mind when I woke up this morning... an editorial was being formed.

Just how important is patriotism to our country?

We, as a nation, are now experiencing the results of children that did not repeat the Pledge of Allegiance and did not sing our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, every morning before their classes started.  I fear that we're raising a generation that say they love America because that seems to be what they're supposed to say, but the loyalty to their country isn't felt in their hearts.  It's not there because we are not teaching them.pledge_small

In the Olympics just finished, I can't help but be disappointed at the absence of emotion by most of our American athletes on the platform as our National Anthem was played.  I can remember in years past how the gold medal winners would stand on that platform and be unable to finish singing the anthem because of the lump in their throat and the tears streaming down their faces and we knew it was because of the mixture of honor, pride, love and humility they felt at having won a gold medal in representation of their beloved United States of America.  We all felt it and wept with them.

I wept this year for a different reason.  Patriotism is disappearing in America.  An with it, America will disappear.  If patriotism to the United States is not taught by parents, teachers and preachers, America will soon elect a leader that was not taught patriotism as a child, if not this year, in eight short years.  Provided we still have the freedom to elect a president.

From 1955 to 1967, I attended Blooming Grove Public Schools, Blooming Grove, Texas.  We said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and we sang the National Anthem every day.  We prayed to God in school before programs held in the auditorium and we said the Pledge of Allegiance, again.  We had programs dedicated toMount Rushmore honoring and celebrating our founding fathers and celebrating our American Heritage.   We played the National Anthem before football games and we prayed for the safety of the athletes and that they would display good sportsmanship and that all present would bring honor to God.

Who was behind the removal of patriotism from our schools?  Why did we allow it?  Because we did not understand the motivation behind those who would have our children grow up without a passionate allegiance to their country and thus weakening our nation.

0_flageagle1dWe must bring patriotism back to our homes and our  schools.

I remember vividly our English teacher, Ruth Ramsey, and how passionate she was about teaching us about our American Heritage.  I pray for more teachers and parents like Ruth Ramsey because it made a difference in how I feel about my beloved country.  I love America.

The Bible says,

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

We have knowledge that one presidential candidate was brought up pledging allegiance to the United States of American and one was not.  It is of the utmost importance what a child is taught.  Our continued freedom depends on it.  Oh, that we would have understood that as much as our enemies have understood it for decades.

God forgive America, have mercy on us and give us the wisdom to elect the right man as President of these bless03swonderful United States of America.  We praise You for the freedom we still have. Protect this nation as the land of the free and home of the brave, and help us to return to YOU. 


There are actually four verses to our National Anthem.  The following is verse four of The Star-Spangled Banner:

"Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust";
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."onug_usa

Monday, August 25, 2008

His Mirror

How to Overcome Inferiority and Low Self-Image

(from Breaking Through Life's Biggest Barriers Part III by Chip Ingram) and Selected Scriptures

(This has turned into a full-fledged Bible Study.  Praise the Lord.  Chip Ingram is a well-known Bible teacher.  His first pastorate was Country Bible Church, Kaufman, Texas... my church)

(In reflection, I've never said to myself, "O, geez, I have such a low self-image" nor have I really thought of myself as inferior, but I guess when I think about how I compare myself to the images we are all exposed to, I reckon I feel, well, inferior.  So the following about mirrors is good and the verses are just what I need.  In italics is my response)

Introduction – Mirror Madness!
1. When you look into the mirror, what do you see? 

In the flesh, I see a fat body that I don't like.  In the spirit, I see the temple for the Holy Spirit to live to empower me.

2. When you look into the mirror, what do you say? 

In the flesh, "Why are you so fat?"  In the spirit, "Lord, I give ALL this to You."

3. When you walk in the world, what do you think?  

In the flesh, "Girl, you just don't measure up."  In the spirit, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Distorted Mirrors – Destroy Our Lives
• The Appearance Mirror – My value depends on how I look!
• The Performance Mirror – My value depends on what I can do!
• The Status Mirror – My value depends on what others think of me!

♦ Thesis – Until we see ourselves as God sees us, we are destined to feel inferior.

♦ Get God’s View Of You = Knowledge

You are significant because . . .

• You are (created by God)
Gen. 1:27 - 
27 So God created human beings in his own image.
      In the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.

I was created by God in His image. God is Spirit; therefore the most important part of me is my SPIRIT. My body is merely the shell that encases my SPIRIT. It seems from this verse that when God looks at me He sees my spirit, not my body.

Ps. 139:13-14 
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Again, God created me and what He created, body and spirit, is marvelous... not junk.

• You are (accepted, loved)
1 Sam. 16:7,

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

This tells me that the condition of the heart is much more important and that just possibly, if my heart is aligned with my Lord, the rest of me will follow suit, inward and outward.  This verse also warns me that people judge by the outward appearance, but not so with God. He cares about the heart and the heart is what He accepts or rejects.

Jer. 31:3
3 Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
   “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
      With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

First, God loves Israel, "my people."  By the blood of Jesus Christ, I am now adopted into "God's people."  And HE LOVES ME WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE AND HE DRAWS ME TO HIMSELF!

• You are (temple)

1 Cor. 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

The only way I can honor God in my body is to give it ALL to Him. Being submitted to the Holy Spirit within me is the only way to bring honor to my Lord.  I have been bought with a high price:  the blood and suffering of Jesus Christ.

• You are (saved)

Eph. 1:13

13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.

I am saved and the Holy Spirit has been given to me who identifies me as belonging to God.

• You are (God's masterpiece)

Eph. 2:10

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

I am God's masterpiece! And He created me anew in Christ Jesus for a purpose... to do good and live the life that He has planned for me from before the beginning of time.

Eph. 4:15-16

15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

As I give all of me to Him, He will see to it that I, His masterpiece, grow more and more like Him.  The 'me' He is perfecting fits into the whole body of Christ (His church) for His purpose.  He has given me spiritual gifts to do my own special work in the body to encourage others to grow.  What a more wonderful thought to focus on!

♦ Believe God’s View Is True = Faith

• Faith is built on God’s Word – Romans 10:17
17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

I desire to give all of me to Him, but I can only do that by faith and I can only increase my faith by His Word.

• Faith grows through mind renewal – Romans 12:2
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (renewing the mind). Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Submission to God, giving Him all of me, consists (among other things) of spending time meditating in His Word. What goes into the mind, renews the mind and changes the mind for the better, if it's God's Word. What's taken into the mind and embraced is what controls the heart and the body. The results of a changed and renewed mind will be good and pleasing to the Lord.

• Develop a plan to remove the distorted mirrors of the world with the mirror of God’s Word –

James 1:22-24
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

I want to surrender to God's word.. do what it says.  I want to replace the 'mirrors of the world' with God's word and promises and truths....

His mirror.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

comment reply

***update 8/24/08***

A really good friend emailed me:  "I also want to thank you for some of the things you wrote.  I have a Sister in Christ that is having self-esteem issues  and some of the things that you wrote that others have told you are so true.  I have tried to tell her these same things, but I think she felt like I was saying them because I love her.  Now maybe she will see that others are saying the same thing.  I can only hope that they will help her."

Me, too.

Cathy Montgomery wrote a comment:  "Caught up on your blog today. Don't know where my time goes. When are you guys leaving Branson? We will be back there October 11 - so thought we would try to see you then. Have a good week."

We will be leaving Branson the end of September, headed for Coffeyville, Kansas. "Assignment" there starts October 8th.  Wish you could come to Branson during September.  That goes for Bruce and Deann, also.  Since we will be in Kansas, maybe we can still get together before December 23rd.

He just won't stop...

And praise the Lord that He continues to lead me to His word that encourages me.  This morning, I randomly picked up a devotional with I Peter 3:1-9 scripture reading.  Verses 3 - 5 just jumped out at me: 

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. (NLT - you can click here and read all the translations that you prefer.)

The author of the devotional was referring to 'submission,' but I saw something in addition to that. I am referring here to the struggle I have had with how I look, instead of leaving that struggle, as we say, at the Cross.  What happened for me at the Cross?  I confessed 'I am a sinner and I need the salvation that only Jesus Christ can give.'  And He gave it to me.  What I am learning is that Jesus also wants me to leave all my struggles at the Cross as well... He wants ALL of me and I sure do want Him to have all of me.  He alone can show me what to believe about myself, because I sure can't do it on my own.  "Which is so precious to God."(vs.4) Do you see, self, what is precious and important to God?  It's sure not how disgruntled I am about how I look.  It's that beautiful, gentle and quiet spirit that He is working within me that is so precious to God.  Now if that's what's important to God, I certainly do not want to have the audacity to choose something else to focus on about myself.  I choose what God chooses, by His grace.

Verses such as:

II Corinthians 12:9-10

9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

are taking on a whole new reality, meaning, truth for me.  Oh my goodness, do you see what that says?  'I am well content with weaknesses for Christ's sake.'  That means that I am to be content (I translate that to mean 'happy' even) and if there is any change seen in me, it will be because of the strength of Christ Jesus in me and He deserves all the glory.

Pray for me as I count my  weaknesses (all) and give them to my Lord.  Rejoice with me as I focus on Jesus Christ and His strength and His all-sufficient grace.  All-sufficient means ALL sufficient.  A friend once told me that her pastor always said, "All means all and that's all all means."  We say it, but do we really know what ALL means?  I'm learning.

Truths from Psalm 139:

"13 You (Elohim) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
      as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You (El Roi) saw me before I was born.
      Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
   Every moment was laid out
      before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
      They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
      they outnumber the grains of sand!
   And when I wake up,
      you (El Shaddai) are still with me!"

Bless Your Word, Lord, and may these words sink deep within my soul, spirit, mind and body.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How was your day?

Other Christian bloggers do it, so I'm inspired to be more open and vulnerable with you, with a prayer that God that will use what I share to encourage others. 

So here goes.

Out of the blue, and I'm convinced, by God's direction, Lucy and Linda Poyer knocked on our door today.  (Don was next door visiting with a return camper from last year.)  Almost, the instant they came in, they both asked me if I felt ok... "what's wrong?"... "are you depressed?"... "you worried about your mom, your kids?"  I almost felt like I had a flashing neon sign on my forehead.  I blurted out that I was upset with myself... not at all happy about the way I look... disgusted with my weight situation.  Why is it that I can pray for others and believe that God will and is answering my prayers, but I fail to consistently give my most nagging personal concerns to my Father?  Shame on me.  I trust Him. Period. End of discussion.  Linda and Lucy never batted an eye as they begin to encourage me and help me get my focus back on God and to stop listening to the lies of the devil.  "LaVon, you are exactly who and what God designed you to be."  Amen.  Please allow me to say it out loud. I am exactly who and what God designed me to be.  Lucy prayed a powerful prayer, with Kingdom authority, for me and just like that, they were gone and I my funk had left, also.  Praise God.

For confirmation, my loving Creator led me to nitty gritty blog tonight where I read of Jody's exact same struggle during her past.  I encourage you to read "My 'other' self" in it's entirety and I quote: 

"I have said it before, but sometimes find that we don't really ask God for the things we need- the really simple things, because maybe we think He is 'too big or too busy' to care. Instead, we move along in life carrying worries or burdens that He would love to lift off of us, but we are not willing to turn them over to Him. I think that is one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life the past several years...God WANTS us to know love and Joy and contentment, but we have to be willing to give Him all our concerns- no matter how big or small they may be.
When I think of all the hurt I carried because I let myself believe I wasn't 'good enough or thin enough' for so long, I still ache inside because I now know that God loves me with an everlasting love and when I couldn't love myself, I was in effect saying, "God I don't like the way you made me- I don't love what You created me to be". I realized at one point that since God designed me, I COULD love me just the way I was. It was in accepting me and all my imperfections that I began to be able to change and become even more of who God created me to be."

This is just part of what Jody shared that is so encouraging to me. 

I'm not sure that I've ever really included ALL of me in my submission to the LORD.  I'm certain that I've never surrendered all my concerns about me to HIM.  I've never really consciously considered that when I've said, "Here I am, Lord. I surrender to YOU," that included any burden that I had picked up along the way, any lie of the devil that I have believed, everything... the good, the bad and the ugly about me.  In essence, I haven't viewed my carrying my own burdens as a sin, but it really is.  It's a lack of faith, a lack of trust in God, but my heart and soul wants none of that.  I want to trust Him with every bit of me.  I want to give Him all my concerns.  I ask for His forgiveness for not accepting the me that He has created. 

Lord God Almighty, I give you ALL of me.  I bring all of me to Your feet.  Help me to continue to see me as You see me.** Keep my eyes on You and off myself as I renew my mind every day. May I always bring glory and honor to You and be an encouragement to others.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

**How does God see me?  God sees me as His child, forgiven, loved, accepted, wanted, worthy of a relationship with Him through my faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for my sin debt. 

Which leads me to think about the next phase and a whole other topic:  how do I view others?  Hmmm.   I'm thinking about it.  What do you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Catching up on blog reading

Over at Wendy and Rick Fury's blog I read:  "And both Liz and I forgot to take our cameras. Liz noticed a dead tree that she would have loved to take a picture of for LaVon. Acutally she would have gotten 2 dead trees in one shot. Sorry LaVon. We were wondering how you got so interested in the dead tree pictures to begin with. Let us know."

I really don't know, but for as long as I can remember, I have loved trees, wood and anything made out of wood.  Dead trees just seem to have so much character.  Usually, the ones standing alone catch my photographer eye as they make such a stately statement.  Green trees are pretty, but dead trees or naked winter trees allow us to see all the interesting shapes of the limbs.  I love how the limbs grow upward as though they were praising their Creator.  Wish I had a really interesting story, but I don't.  It seems that I've just always loved trees.

Oh, yes.  I do have a tree story... When I was growing up there was a huge pecan tree down in the creek bottom with a long branch that grew low, curving down to allow me to climb onto it from the ground and enjoy climbing in that big old tree.  Most of the time I would just sit on it like I was riding a horse and bounce up and down... when I was supposed to be picking up pecans to sell for Christmas money.  Somewhere, I'm sure my mama has a picture of that tree.  Forever, I have a picture of it in my mind.

Bob Higginbottom had a birthday on the 18th!  My how time flies when you're having fun, huh?  Liz got her computer back.  Yeah!  Being without a computer is what withdrawals are made of.

Barb and Darrell are roaming around waiting for a storm to produce some work for them.  Be careful you two.  Have you left the pool with the Tiki Bar in the middle of it, yet?

Snookie finally posted a brief note to let us know that she's so busy she doesn't know whether she's coming or going.  We're praying for you to get well from that nasty pneumonia.

Shelley & Bud have had a wonderful summer with family and friends and are still playing golf.  And Shelley's got monkeys and butterflies hanging around her blog.

Bruce & Deann have been to a wedding.  She last posted on the 8th.  I'm sure you guys are enjoying this cooler weather as Cathy & Jack are.  So are we!

Sharon and Tom report that the hot weather has reached them in Oregon, less the stifling humidity.

Niece, Tammy, has been on local sports TV, proudly talking about the Mill Creek little leaguers (11 year olds) who made it all the way to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA. 

Among other things, we're still enjoying the Olympics.  I'm expecting our lady gymnasts to be gaining a couple of extra gold medals when the committee determines at least one of the Chinese gymnasts is not old enough to be competing in the Olympics.


Leslie & Khalil's house is being shown tomorrow, Friday, at 11:30 a.m.  Pray, pray, pray.

I have a right ....

to brag on our Leslie.  She's really been cranking out some beautiful scrapart layouts.  Here's a favorite of mine.  That's Diesel with his Aunt LaNae. Got to love that smile and those big brown eyes!Camden-my-aunt-nae-nae-loves-meI have to show you the love of her life, Khalil (pronounced Kay-lee), our hero who got us tickets to the Springfield Cardinals - Corpus Christie Hooks game in Springfield last Monday night.Khalil-love-of-my-life2  This page was selected by pickleberrypop as their August LO of the month!  If you're interested in learning how to do digital scrap-booking, I will hook you up with Leslie.  Journaling says: "There is nothing like seeing things through your child's eyes and I simply adore how you look at the world with such wonder."Camden wonder

Leslie is trying to get all of Diesel's first year done before he turns two, but she managed to do a few of Pook as well. Emma happy-looks-like And this one Leslie completed just recently after experiencing a few rough days*:  "I had a severely rough past couple of days so I need to remind myself to praise Him."  I love the verse she used ("Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them." Psalm 69:34) and how it encouraged me to "choose now" to praise Him even when times are rough.  Thank you so much for this... it's beautiful, Sweetie!  Worthy of framing and displaying.praise-Him*We're continuing to pray for the sell of their house in Waco so the family can be together in one place, Round Rock, Texas.  It's so difficult living apart and it makes them an easy target for the enemy, but we're PRAISING HIM and trusting Him to work all things out in His timing.  We regularly pray for God to tell satan to sit down, shut-up and get your hands off "MY CHILDREN!"  Amen!

(Please read the next post following this post.)